May 9, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11323

Egyptian Journalist And Senate Member Abd Al-Mun'im Sa'id: A Coalition Of Arab Countries Must Be Formed To Act Against Iran And Its Militias

May 9, 2024
Egypt, Iran | Special Dispatch No. 11323

In an article in the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm, senior journalist Abd Al-Mun'im Sa'id, who was appointed to the Egyptian Senate by President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, warned that the wars caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and especially the current war in Gaza, threaten Egypt's security and stability and require formulating a "balanced" strategy to safeguard Egypt's interests. As part of this strategy, he said, a state of emergency must be declared in Egypt in order to prevent radical elements within it from using the Gaza war to destabilize the country. At the same time a coalition of countries must be formed, comprising Egypt itself, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other like-minded countries, in order to meet the threat posed by Iran and its militias, such as Hamas in Gaza, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria, the Houthis in Yemen and Al-Hashd Al-Sha'bi in Iraq.

As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sa'id called to promote the two-state solution, which is internationally agreed-upon, instead of trying to turn back the clock and eliminate the state of Israel.

Abd Al-Mun'im Sa'id (Image: Al-Masri Al-Yawm, Egypt)

The following are translated excerpts of his article: [1]

"…The Egyptians are doomed not only to be close to the [Palestinian] issue, because of [Palestine's] geographical location, but to be part of it… The history of the Palestinian issue begins in 1897, with the holding of the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, at which Theodor Hertzl presented the ideas set out in his book The Jewish State. The gist of these ideas was that the Jews constitute an 'international problem,' due to the hidden antisemitism in European societies, and that, since the Jews are clearly a national group, the problem of antisemitism can be solved by founding a Jewish state in Palestine, where Jewish historical heritage [has its roots].           

"The history of the Palestinian cause, which began back then, has continued for about 120 years. There were successive waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine during the Ottoman rule and later under the British Mandate, until the state of Israel was established in 1948. Then the Arab-Israeli conflict began, expressed in the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. This continued as the 'Palestinian-Israeli conflict,' which took the form of 'Palestinian resistance' against Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967. Theoretically, the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords  between Israel and the PLO ushered in a new era in which conflict and peace between the two sides are intertwined.

"Today, 'strategy' does not mean turning back the wheel of time and correcting the historical [fact of] Israel's establishment, but working to actualize the two-state solution that stems from the Oslo Accords and is the goal agreed upon by the main players in the international arena. [But], despite this agreement, this [solution] does not seem to be quickly attainable, and the strategy of [pursuing] it must take into account Egypt's direct interests that stem from threats associated with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This conflict gave rise to an ongoing series of wars between the two sides that were waged in Gaza and the West Bank, all of which produced direct threats to Egypt, whether geopolitical or geo-economic.

"In the last ten years, Egypt has focused on internal construction and achieved positive growth despite the troubling problems of terror, the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the great crises in the region – in Gaza, Sudan, Libya and Yemen – while managing to avoid becoming embroiled in external conflicts… 

"During the current Gaza crisis, Egypt's wise management produced a serious achievement by preventing the forced emigration of Palestinians to Sinai and by convening the peace conference during the war that produced a statement by nine Arab states: the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.  These countries have three things in common. First, they are countries that have chosen the path of reform and [economic] growth as the strategic path to progress. Second, as part of this reform, these countries strive to attain regional stability that will provide suitable conditions for investments and tourism and [allow them to] profit from their geopolitical situation. Third, six of these countries have signed peace agreements with Israel or seek to normalize relations with it, openly (Saudi Arabia) or indirectly (Qatar and Oman). The statement issued by the nine countries constitutes the first comprehensive [effort to] address the crisis, and later developed into a broad  Egyptian initiative that formed the basis for almost all the [subsequent] diplomatic initiatives, whether American or European.

"At the same time, the Gaza war is still blazing, and Israel has not completely abandoned its efforts to cause the Palestinians to emigrate, voluntarily or by force, which means that the threat to Egypt's national security is still in place. Furthermore, the war on the Syrian and Lebanese fronts still threatens to escalate, and the Houthis are still threatening the international trade and shipping lanes in the Red Sea, that lead to the Suez Canal – which prompted the U.S. and four other countries to intervene and militarily confront the Houthis.

"This additional threat to Egypt's national security compels us to double our efforts to protect Egypt's supreme interests through a balanced strategy. The first step in this strategy is to declare  a state of emergency…  within Egypt. This [must be done] in order to deal with serious situations whose intensity and surprising [consequences] are difficult to predict, and in order to protect [our] ongoing economic development and growth while deepening the national discourse in situations of intense confrontation and maintaining a solid unity that can cope with the radical Islamic organizations and with the radical left, which will surely try to use the fifth Gaza war to threaten and fragment Egypt's domestic arena.  

"The second step [derives from the fact that] the war was, from the start, a regional one involving a regional coalition of Iran and its allied militias such as Al-Hashd Al-Sha'bi in Iraq, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Syria, the Lebanese Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria, the Houthis in Yemen and Hamas in Palestine. This coalition exploited the Palestinian cause in a way that greatly harmed the Palestinian people by liberating all of Israel's worst demons, [thereby] threatening the security of the region in various ways. The only way to achieve a balance of power vis-à-vis this coalition is to form a counter-coalition of forces that champion reform and the nation state, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the cornerstone [of this coalition]."


[1] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), April 30, 2024.

Share this Report: